Housing Complex

Fun Falls Victim to GSA Cost Cutting

Alas for creativity in Ariel Rios Hemicycle.

For a minute there, it looked like the federal government was going to embrace temporary urbanism, with a creative installation to enliven the cold, dead heart of Federal Triangle. So much for that idea: The General Services Administration put the contest on indefinite hold, three months after issuing a call for qualifications.

Why the about-face? The National Capital Planning Commission, which was facilitating the contest, tells me it's "under review as part of the budget process," even though a cost hadn't yet been determined. Subtext: Everything that could possibly catch the eye of a tea partying House member is on notice, following reports of absurd conference spending that got the last GSA head fired.

Oddly, it appears that the contest hadn't drawn much local interest anyway. The interested vendors list includes no District-based groups, despite the wealth of temporary initiatives elsewhere in the city.

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